During this week we celebrate America's independence.. a story of one man's vision for helping our veterans. And just how you can help take care of those who served our country.
When their country called.. they answered that call.
But sadly, too often today.. when it's our help they need.. we let them down.
"He's seen first hand what happens if you need to rely upon health care through the VA. It needs to be improved," says Chuck Denny of www.VeteransPetition.com
77 year old Garland Denny and his youngest son Chuck are attempting what some would consider impossible.
Through personal contact and a website they're collecting 60-thousand signatures that they will turn over to Congress. Why signatures?
Says Chuck Denny, "Our Congressional leaders have told us.. if you bring us the signatures and the people then we're going to listen to you."
They're petitioning Congress to create commemorative coins..
Stamps.. similar to the breast cancer stamp..
And bonds.. like the war bonds from years ago that Americans can purchase.. and the proceeds go directly to improve health care for veterans.
Garland Denny says, "I think this would be the greatest thing to happen. I haven't had the first person to tell me that they didn't think this was a good idea."
The sorry state of the nation's veterans hospitals.. Walter Reed earlier this year.. and the bureaucratic maze some vets have to go through to get medical care.. convinced Garland-- a veteran of the Korean War.. that something needed to be done.
Correspondence from their website backs it up. One letter says, "If it wasn't for these men and women we would not be living in a free country."
They've sought the support of some heavy hitters-- Bill Clinton.. Elizabeth Dole, Sue Myrick and Robin Hayes.
And have signed resolutions of support from local governments in Union county..
But they need more signatures.. many more.. and they're hoping the people who see this story put them over the top.
"Think of the person who's in Iraq right now in a tank.. staring down the line. What happens when they come home and they see that the Charlotte community has gathered together and is fighting to give them something," says Chuck Denny.
They're not asking for any money.
In fact they've spent $10,000 to $20,000 of their own money to get this far.
They've been at it two years. They have 6,000 signatures. They need 60,000.